Try as he might, Carson Wentz isn’t yet good enough to overcome playing with a decidedly mediocre team all on his own.
Wentz was short his best wide receiver for the second half of Monday night’s game against the Packers, his defense couldn’t hold a candle to a rejuvenated Aaron Rodgers, and the Eagles lost to the Packers, 27-13.
The Eagles are now 5-6, under .500 for the first time this season. After starting the year 3-0, they are 2-6 in their last eight games. With five left to play this season, the postseason looks effectively unattainable for Wentz’s first season as the team’s quarterback.
Rodgers and the Packers faced little to no resistance for the majority of Monday’s game. He finished 30 of 39 for 313 yards and two touchdowns, slicing up the Eagles’ defense all evening and converting 10 of 14 first downs. The Eagles’ vaunted defensive line didn’t show up all night, except when Brandon Graham committed a neutral zone infraction and Fletcher Cox committed a personal foul on a tackle against Rodgers.
On the offensive side of the ball, Wentz threw the ball to whoever happened to wander on to the field, which, as has been the case for the majority of the season, was no one with much talent. Dorial Green Beckham caught six passes for 82 yards, but he was mainly invisible in the second half.
Doug Pederson’s offense limited Wentz to a bunch of tight end snag plays and screen passes, especially once Jordan Matthews left the game with an ankle injury. It’s hard to blame Pederson for reigning Wentz in considering the lack of skill at wide receiver, but it’s also hard to blame Wentz for struggling to find much footing for a complete game. He’s playing with eminently replaceable skill players.
In general, what we watched on Monday night was a matchup of a hamstrung, middling team with plenty of growing to do and an underachieving, middling team with plenty more upside. The Eagles have holes all over the field, and with six losses in eight games, those holes have been shown off and paraded on national television.
Which, of course, is fine! It really, truly is. This team entered the season with zero postseason expectations. That they aren’t going to the playoffs isn’t some damning failure, nor an indictment of Wentz or Pederson. It is simply a note on where they stand after one year, and a treatise on what needs to be better if they would like to compete in a suddenly-talented NFC East moving forward.
Things are fine. It, as former Philadelphia resident Sam Hinkie would say, is a process. Don’t expect much from the last five games of the season. Because this Eagles team isn’t going anywhere too fast.